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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

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from 50 percent to 11 percent between 1960 and 1968. Over the same period primary school enrollments doubled, while secondary enrollments and numbers of university students grew about fivefold. Zambia is raising the numbers in secondary schools from fewer than 9,000 in 1964 (excluding Europeans) to a planned 61,300 in 1970 (3).
Demographic Problems
Yet despite these remarkable achievements, the number of adult illiterates throughout the world has increased over the past decade, according to UNESCO (4). One reason is that very large numbers of children drop out of primary school before they have become literate, so that rising percentages in school do not mean very much if they are concentrated in the lower grades. The basic reason, however, is that the steady reduction in the percentage of illiterates is not enough to reduce their absolute number because the number of children passing through the school-going ages is increasing so rapidly.
Demographic problems facing the educational planners will be discussed later. Here it need only be mentioned that because of massive increases in the size of the youth population, the number of school places must double every 30 years or so just to maintain the same proportion of children in school. The supply of classrooms and teachers must be expanded at the same rate merely to maintain the status quo. Despite this tremendous demographic obstacle, the growth in enrollments has been large enough to narrow the percentage gap between school-going and school-age population:* between 1950 and 1965 the number of countries with more than 50 percent of school-age children in school at the first and second levels grew from 94 to 141, out of a total of 203 countries with relevant data J The steady growth in the proportion of young people in school in Asia during roughly the same period is shown in Table 2.
But the substantial gains over the last decade or two in raising the proportion of children in school, though impressive, do not appear nearly as spectacular as do the increases in the absolute number of enrollments. If the number of children in the developing countries had not increased since 1950, the massive increases in enrollments shown in Table 1 would have been enough to provide school places for 82 percent of primary school age children by 1965, but as it is, only 54 percent were in school. $ It is a matter of running up the down escalator; it is possible to reach the top, but the effort involved is much greater than it would be if the escalator were halted.
*The gap in absolute terms has remained about the same and possibly has increased slightly.
tDerived from UNESCO (2, Table 2.5). Data are adjusted school enrollment ratios; for definition, see Figure 1, footnote a.
$These arc rough estimates derived by applying the figures for primary school enrollment to the age group 6 to 13.. Although the migrant himself may not benefit from them, his children can.ocieties.iterature. A number of social scientists have seen the migration process through a glass all-too-darkly. I have tried to explain the group who must make the (rreatest adjustment in stvlp. of livino nnH tVip.rpfnrp nrp nrp«nmali1\/ m^et inhe predominantly male rural-urban migration, in the multilingual character of the society, in the existence of polygamy, and